Friday, August 14, 2020
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In memoriam: 1 year after the Iguala crimes

Yesterday in Mexico City, on the one-year anniversary of what has been described as one of the “most heinous crimes in modern Mexico, when police officers and drug cartel hit men are believed to have abducted 43 students and killed another six students or passers-by in the town of Iguala,” several people marched in protest of a corrupt investigation and in eternal hope that the students may still be alive, the New York Times reports.

Relatives and friends of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa take part in a demonstration today in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico, to commemorate the anniversary of their disappearance. The students, from a rural teachers’ college in the southern state of Guerrero, disappeared after they were attacked by local police in the city of Iguala on Sept 26, 2014. (AFP photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)

The horrific events of September 26, 2014, are still unknown to the public, as are the whereabouts of the students or their remains. Only one bone fragment from one of the 43 has been positively identified, through DNA testing, as belonging to one of the missing students. No traces of the other 42 have been found to this date. And, suspected gang members confessed to killing the students six weeks after the crime, said Mexico’s attorney general.

CNN reported earlier this year that the cause behind their death may have been mistaken identity, in which the supposed murderers mistook the students, who were studying to become teachers in a rural part of Mexico, as members of a rival drug gang.

But the involvement of law enforcement personnel in the crime, whether murder or simple abduction, is troubling. It’s a problem that has plagued the area for several years, as police officers give into corruption. David Cienfuegos, Guerrero state’s newly appointed interior minister, told the BBC, “In places like Iguala, criminal groups have not only infiltrated the police, but also the political class. There has been talk of narco-politics.”

So we pause for a moment to remember these aspiring teachers in our neighbor to the south. The crime underscores a society of fear, where drug lords work with the police to carry out their illegal and harmful mission of violence and greed.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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